SF Weekly Picks

Wednesday, July 17
“downhear Lounge” How time flies when you're having fun …. San Francisco's favorite club series turns 1 this week. Seems like just yesterday that Kristine Maddocks and DJ BPM/O first proposed a weekly night not dictated by social cliques. It is a credit to this town's clubbees and clubbers that “downhear” has had such great success; an educated guess says that it wouldn't have made it past week two in most cities. “downhear” will be celebrating its conception with a live performance by Astralwerks ambient duo Freezer; a collaboration between techno wizards Spirit Pi and Juan the Snake Dancer; a projection of found footage by Retronic Experimental Visual Systems; a 16mm film premiere by Andres Martinez; and low-beat techno grooves by DJs Cliff and Molsen. Mistress of Ceremonies Misty Waters will host with her “voice from nowhere.” Cafe Du Nord, 9 p.m., $3.

Thursday, July 18
Peter Wolf Born the son of a vaudevillian, this Bronx boy's first artistic interest was painting, which he studied at the University of Chicago while sharing an apartment with future filmmaker David Lynch. While his life has included other such momentous star-crossings, including a marriage to Faye Dunaway and long-lasting friendships with both Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker, Wolf is best-known for his R&B-based rock group the J. Geils Band, which existed in its original form for nearly 17 years before dissolving at its musical height. Long Line (Reprise) is Wolf's fourth solo effort since the band's breakup in '83; this is his first tour in over six years. Dana Hubbard & the Delta Twisters open. Slim's, 9 p.m., $12.

Friday, July 19
Los Straitjackets I don't know what it is, but I just can't seem to get through an entire week without masked Mexican wrestlers and/or surf music. Thankfully, Los Straitjackets bring together the best of both worlds. Their latest, Viva! Los Straitjackets (Upstart), mixes a luscious island groove with that hardcore-rockabilly thang that I love so much and without ever revealing their true identities. Oh, to be truly sated …. Daytonas and the Victors, featuring Ron Silva and members of the Loved Ones, open. Transmission Theater, 10 p.m., $10.

Saturday, July 20
Wayne Hancock Called too country for country in the '90s, Hancock has steadfastly refused to compromise his musical vision to fit that of the current Nashville pop standard. Those of us with a love for western swing and down-home honky-tonk may commence to count our blessings. Thunderstorms and Neon Signs (Deja Disc), produced by steel-guitar great Lloyd Maines, is resplendent with Hancock's pure country twang, snazzy pedal-steel work, and a bounty of yodeling. It's all about juke joints, boxcars, and corncob pipes — just like God intended. Sloe Gin Joes and Starlene open. Boomerang, 10 p.m., $8.

Sunday, July 21
“The Legends of the Delta Blues” Each of tonight's performers has lived through two World Wars; seen the invention of the automobile, television, and the automatic teller; and performed authentic Delta blues since before there was any other kind. Eighty-one-year-old Robert Jr. Lockwood (pictured) is considered the torchbearer of the Robert Johnson guitar legacy; 87-year-old Henry Townsend learned to play guitar and piano in St. Louis from Clifford Gibson, Lonnie Johnson, Roosevelt Sykes, Charley Jordan, and Henry Spaulding; and 91-year-old Homesick James dated Memphis Minnie, formed the Dusters with Albert King on drums, and was recording for RCA back in the '30s. Yoshi's, once again, has put together a show for which one can have nothing but reverence. 8/10 p.m., $20.

Monday, July 22
Melting Euphoria With song titles like “Harbour of Infinity,” “Venusian Skylight,” “Crystalline Wind,” and “Leylines From Azimuth” it may come as no surprise that ME is a psychedelic space rock band from San Francisco that was conceived at the crossing of Haight and Ashbury on the summer solstice of 1994. Its shows create moody, neo-modern psychedelic soundscapes in the mood of the Summer of Love, complete with an Arcane Liquids Light Show. You don't need to be on acid; you'll just feel as if you are. Earthlings and 11-11 open. Bottom of the Hill, 9:30 p.m., $3.

Tuesday, July 23
Buzzcocks Who can forget such infectious classics as “Orgasm Addict,” “Everybody's Happy Nowadays,” “Harmony in My Head,” or “Just Lust”? Without a doubt the progenitors of power pop, this first-generation punk group from Manchester worked with melodies that reached far beyond the confines of the punk scene without sacrificing the individualized fuck-off ethic so crucial to the movement. While their latest release, All Set (I.R.S.), starts off promisingly — with that timeless Steve Diggle/Pete Shelley high-energy harmonization — it quickly loses steam, becoming flat and a bit trite, but no matter. According to the Buzzcocks, they release records so that they can tour and they tour so they can annoy people. It doesn't get much more punk rock than that. Let's hope they stick to the old stuff. Supernova and Engine 88 open. Bimbo's 365 Club, 7 p.m., $15.

By Silke Tudor

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